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Blackboard Help

Create and Edit Assignments

Your institution controls which tools are available in the Original Course View. Assignments are always available to instructors in the Ultra Course View.

You can create assignments alongside other content.

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about accessing assignments.

With assignments, you can create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. You can create assignments in content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders.

When you create an assignment, a Grade Center column is created automatically. From the Grade Center or Needs Grading page, you can see who has submitted their work and start grading. Students access their grades from their My Grades pages or the assignment's Review Submission History page.

You can also create a group assignment and release it to one or more groups in your course. Each group submits one collaborative assignment and all members receive the same grade. You can create a single assignment and assign it to all groups, or create several unique assignments and assign them to individual groups.

More on group assignments


Create an assignment

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about creating assignments.

You can create assignments in content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders.

  1. From the Assessments menu, select Assignment and provide the name, instructions, and the files students need. You can use the functions in the editor to format text and add files. You can also add files in the Assignment Files section.
  2. Select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. The file is saved in the top-level folder in your course's file repository: Course Files or the Content Collection. You can also attach a file from the repository.

    -OR-

    Drag files from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. If your browser allows, you can also drag a folder of files. The files will upload individually. If the browser doesn't allow you to submit your assignment after you upload a folder, select Do not attach in the folder's row to remove it. You can drag the files individually and submit again.

    You won’t be able to drag files to upload if your institution uses an older version of Blackboard Learn.

    You can use the file name or provide another name for the file.

  3. Optionally, select a Due Date. Assignments with due dates automatically show in the course calendar.
  4. In the Grading section, type the Points Possible and optionally, add a rubric. Expand the sections to make selections such as anonymous grading, how the grade is displayed, and the number of attempts. You can allow more than one attempt on an assignment.
  5. Make the assignment available when you're ready for students to access it. Select the appropriate options for availability, tracking, and display dates. Display dates don't affect an assignment's availability, only when it appears.
  6. Select Submit.

More on assignment grade settings

More on adding files in the editor

More on Course Files vs. the Content Collection


Create group assignments

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about creating group assignments.

To be sure students do collaborate and interact, you can use the groups tool and group assignments to foster an interactive online environment.

More on creating groups

You can create a group assignment and release it to one or more groups within your course. Each group submits one collaborative assignment and all members receive the same grade. You can create a single assignment and assign it to all groups, or create several unique assignments and assign them to individual groups. Only you and the members of a group have access to the assignment.

Before you begin

  • A course group must exist before you create group assignments for it.
  • Students who are enrolled in more than one group that receives the same assignment will be able to submit more than one attempt for this assignment. You may need to provide these students with an overall grade for the assignment.
  • Students who aren't enrolled at the time that a group assignment has been submitted don't have access to that submission. These students only see that the submission occurred.
  • Students who you remove from a group can't see the group assignments. They can access their submissions from My Grades.
  • If you edit the assignment between creation and the due date, the entire group may lose any work already in progress.
  • If you delete a group from the assignment after students have started an attempt but before submission, they'll lose access to the assignment and lose their work.

You create a group assignment in the same way you create an assignment for students to complete individually. When you create a group assignment, a gradebook item is created automatically. You can create group assignments in content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders. The group assignment appears in the course area where you create it and on the group homepage.

On the Create Assignment page, expand the Submission Details section to deliver an assignment to groups.

  1. Select Group Submission.
  2. In the Items to Select box, select the group or groups to receive this assignment. Select the right-pointing arrow to move the selection into the Selected Items box. To select multiple groups at once on a Windows computer, press and hold the Shift key and select each group. To select groups out of sequence, press the Ctrl key and select each group. For Macs, press the Command key instead of the Ctrl key. Use the Select All function if you want to include all groups.
  3. Select the number of attempts. You can allow more than one attempt on a group assignment.

Student assignment submission confirmations

When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page appears with information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission.

You and your students won't be able to view confirmation numbers if your institution uses an older version of Blackboard Learn.

You and your administrators have a retrievable record in the system even if an attempt, assignment, or student is later deleted. These records are maintained in the course and also retrievable after the archive and restore process.

You can access all of your students' confirmation numbers from the Grade Center. Access the Reports menu and select Submission Receipts.

On the Submission Receipts page, you can view information for each assignment, such as who submitted and when. Group assignments are also logged and the Submitter column lists who submitted for the group. In the Submission column, view if a student submitted a file or wrote the submission in the assignment's editor.

Use the menus at the top of the page to filter the items. In the second menu, select Not blank and leave the search box empty to show all of the submission receipts. Select a column heading to sort the items.


Edit, reorder, and delete assignments

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about managing your assignments.

You can edit, reorder, and delete your assignments. Change the order of assignments with the drag-and-drop function or the keyboard accessible reordering tool. For example, reorder the assignments to keep the current one at the top.

From an assignment's menu, select on option:

  • Move an assignment to another location in your course. When you move an assignment, it's removed from its original location. You can't copy an assignment.
  • Edit an assignment. If you change the instructions, students who have already made submissions will see the new instructions only on subsequent attempts.
  • Apply release criteria, tracking, metadata, and review status.

More on options you can apply

Delete assignments

You can delete an assignment from a course area and if no student submissions exist, the Grade Center column is also deleted.

When you delete an assignment that has student submissions, you also delete all the submissions. You have two options:

  • Preserve the scores in the Grade Center, but delete the assignment and all submissions. Though the scores remain in the Grade Center, you can't access the students' submissions again. The action is irreversible.
  • Delete the assignment, the Grade Center column, all assigned grades, and all submissions. The action is irreversible.

Alternatively, make the gradable item unavailable in your course to preserve the submissions and the scores in the Grade Center.


ULTRA: Create an assignment

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about creating assignments.

You can create assignments alongside other content. Students can access their work next to the content they need, right when they need it. You can also create a group assignment and release it to one or more groups in your course.

Feel free to experiment! Students can't see what you add until you make your assignments visible.

On the Course Content page, select the plus sign wherever you want to add an assignment. You can also expand or create a folder and add an assignment.

Select Create to open the Create Item panel. Expand the Assessment section and select Assignment. The New Assignment page opens.

When you create an assignment, a gradebook item is created automatically.

After you post assignment grades, students can view their scores on their grades pages or in the activity stream. They can also access an assignment, their submissions, your feedback, rubrics, and their grades from the assignment link on the Course Content page.


ULTRA: New Assignment page

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about the basics of assignments.

Add the assignment essentials. Provide an intuitive assignment title so that students can easily find the assignment among your course content. The title appears as the link students select to view the materials. If you don't add a title, "New Assignment" appears in the content list.

  • Add Question: Add essay or multiple choice questions to your assignment.
  • Add Text: Provide assignment details and instructions. If you click outside of the text box, your work is saved automatically. You can use the functions in the editor to format the text.

    To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

  • Add Files: You can add files to your assignment in two ways.
    • Upload from Computer: Browse for or drag files from your computer that students need to complete their submissions. You can add documents, images, audio, and video files. If your browser allows, media files display inline. You can't add a folder of items. You're asked if you want to add the individual items inside the folder.
    • OneDrive: Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud-based storage platform for your files and photos that you can access from multiple devices. The files you add are copies. If you make a change to a file in OneDrive, you need to upload a new copy in your course. If your browser allows, media files you add from OneDrive display inline. If you choose a folder of files from OneDrive, the contents of the folder are removed and appear as single items in the assignment.

      On small devices, you can't access OneDrive.

More on how media files appear

Show or hide the assignment. Students can't see an assignment until you choose to show it. You can create all your content ahead of time and choose what you want students to see based on your schedule. You can also set an assignment's availability with show and hide dates. On the Course Content page, students can see when you set the assignment to show.

Apply assignment settings. Select the Assignment Settings icon to open the panel where you provide the assignment's details and information.

Provide a due date. Due dates appear on the calendar and in the activity stream. Late submissions appear with a Late label in the course gradebook. Encourage students to review what's due now, what's ahead, and to ask questions early on. You can set accommodations for students to make them exempt from certain course requirements, such as assignment deadlines. To select accommodations, go to the Roster and point to the student’s name. The number of accommodations made appears on the assignment page in the settings section.

More on accommodations

Allow class conversations. What if your students have questions about an assignment? You can allow conversations within an assignment, and anyone can contribute. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the relevant assignment.

Determine the number of attempts. You can let your students submit more than one attempt at an assignment. When you allow multiple attempts, you can also choose how the final grade is calculated.

Select the grading schema. From the Grade using menu, select an existing grading schema such as Points. You can change the grading schema at any time and the change will show to students and in your gradebook.

Add a grading rubric. You can create a new rubric or associate an existing rubric. A rubric is a scoring tool that you can use to evaluate graded work.

Make a group assignment. You can create an assignment for one or more groups of students. By default, you assign a grade to each group as a whole, but you can change a group member's individual grade.

Add goals and standards. You can align an assignment to one or multiple goals. You and your institution can use goals to measure student achievement across programs and curriculums.

Close the layer. Your assignment automatically saves as you type. When you're finished, select the X to close the assignment layer and return to the Course Content page.


ULTRA: Add questions to an assignment

When you create a new assignment, select Add Question to open the Add Question panel and select a question type.

The Content & Settings area opens where you type the question and answer choices if required, such as for Multiple Choice questions. Questions have a default value of 10 points. Select the points box to type a new value.

Essay questions require students to type an answer in a text box, and you need to grade these questions manually.

You can use the functions in the editor to format the text.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

After you add the first question, select the plus sign wherever you want to add another question, text, or a file.

More about adding files and text blocks

Multiple Choice/Multiple Answer questions

With Multiple Choice questions, students select one correct answer from several choices. You can also create Multiple Choice questions that have multiple correct answers. Multiple Choice and Multiple Answer questions are graded automatically. If an assignment only has this type of question, the assignment scores are posted automatically for students to view. If you include multiple correct answers for a question, you can choose to give partial or negative credit in the case of mixed answers.

Next to the four default answer boxes, you can delete answer boxes you don't need, for example, for a True/False question. If you want more than four answer boxes, select Add Choice. You can add as many answer boxes as you need. Select the Move icon to move an answer. Each Multiple Choice question must have at least two answer choices and one or more correct answers. You can choose how to score questions that have multiple answers.

Partial and negative credit

Partial credit rewards students whose answers demonstrate incomplete mastery of the material. Use negative credit to discourage guessing. You can allow negative scores for incorrect answers. Make a selection in the Scoring options menu:

  • All correct answers must be selected to receive full credit
  • Give credit for correct answers with no penalty for incorrect answers
  • Give credit for correct answers, but subtract points for incorrect answers

Edit and delete questions

To change the value of an existing question, select the score pill and type a new value. You can also select the More options icon to access the question options and select Edit or Delete.

You can edit the text of any question, even after students have made submissions. After submissions exist, you can't add new questions, delete any question, edit the values, or change the correct answers.

If you add files to a question, enter edit mode to edit or to add more. You can choose to display the file as an attachment or inline if your browser allows, and to add alternative text to improve accessibility.

You can align goals with individual questions to help your institution measure achievement. Select the More options icon next to the question, and select Align with Goal. After you make the assignment available, students can view information for the goals you align with assignments and questions so that they know your expectations.

More on how to align goals with course content


ULTRA: Add files and text blocks to assignments

Select the plus sign wherever you want to add questions, text, or a file. You can add as many text blocks and files as you want.

Add text blocks. Select Add Text to open the editor. You can include instructions for a section of the assignment or introductory text for an audio file or image. You can also paste text from a Word doc. If you click outside of the text box, your work is saved automatically.

If you create an assignment that only includes text blocks, you can manually change the Maximum score in the Assignment Settings. This is useful if you want students to upload submissions or use the freeform text fields.

Add files. Select Add File to browse for files on your computer or in OneDrive. You can drag files from your computer, such as a Word doc and an audio file. You can't add a folder of items. You're asked if you want to add the individual items inside the folder. Your institution controls the maximum size of a file that you can upload.

If you're creating an assignment on a mobile device, the option appears as "Upload from Device."

More on how media files appear

OneDrive: Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud-based storage platform for your files and photos. You can access OneDrive from multiple devices. The files you add are copies. If you make a change to a file in OneDrive, you need to upload a new copy in your course. If your browser allows, media files you add from OneDrive display inline. If you choose a folder of files from OneDrive, the contents of the folder are removed and appear as single items in the document.

On small devices, you can't access OneDrive.

Students see the content just as you see it, without the editing options.

Media viewing options

If your browser allows, media files you add to assignments display inline by default. If your browser can't display a media file inline, it appears as an attachment. Files you add from OneDrive behave in the same way.

Point to a media file to access the menu and select the Edit File icon. In the panel, you can choose how your video, audio, or image file appears in the assignment: inline or as an attachment. For example, you can display extremely large files as attachments that students can download. You can edit the file names for files displayed as attachments.

You can also add alternative text to describe images you add. Alternative text is read aloud by screen readers and helps describe what some users can’t see. Alternative text is limited to 100 characters.

For image files that appear inline, students can select an image to view it separately.

For video and audio files that appear inline, students have controls for play, pause, and volume control. For video files, students can view the video in full screen.

View media files as attachments

For media files that appear as attachments, students access a file's menu to view them. Select Download File to open the file in a new window or tab. Select View File to open the file on the assignment page. Instructors have the additional functions of move, edit, and delete.

Add files to questions

To help keep your assignment content organized, you can also add files within individual questions. Point your cursor to the space below the question text. Select the plus sign to add more text, upload a file from your computer, or choose a file from your OneDrive. To edit the files you added, enter edit mode for the question. Use the same process described above to edit the files.


ULTRA: Assignments and the activity stream

When you create an assignment and make it visible to students, they are alerted in their activity streams.

After you post assignment grades, students can select View your grade to display their grades. Any feedback you provide appears after the assignment title.

You will see an alert in the stream when you have submissions to grade. Select the assignment title to begin grading on the assignment submissions page.

More on the activity stream


ULTRA: Edit, reorder, and delete assignments

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about managing your assignments.

You can make changes to existing assignments and change where they appear on your Course Content page. Press the Move icon in an assignment's row and move it to a new location. You can also move an assignment into a folder.

You can use your keyboard to move an assignment.

  1. Tab to an item's Move icon.
  2. Press Enter to activate move mode.
  3. Use the arrow keys to choose a location.
  4. Press Enter to drop the item in the new location.

In an assignment's row, select the More options icon to access the Edit and Delete functions.

Delete assignments

You can delete an assignment from your course and if no student submissions exist, the gradebook item is also deleted. For assignments with submissions, you must confirm that you want to permanently remove the assignment, all submissions, and grades from your course.

Alternatively, hide the assignment from students to preserve the submissions and the scores in the gradebook. Students can't access hidden assignments on the Course Content page or on their grades pages even if you have graded submissions.

Edit assignments and media files

Be aware that if you change an existing assignment that students can access, some students may have started their submissions. You can't change the grading schema if you've already started grading.

Based on the assignment element and settings, you can move, edit, delete, or download it. Point to an element to access the available options. Press the Move icon to move an element to a new location on the assignment page.

Select the plus sign between assignment elements to add another file.

More on adding files and multimedia to assignments


ULTRA: Encourage conversation

If you enable class conversations, students can discuss the assignment with you and their classmates. They can ask for help, share sources, or answer questions others have. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the relevant assignment. Conversations don't appear on the discussions page.

To view the conversation, select the speech bubble icon in the assignment's row on the Course Content page. You can also access the conversation in the upper-right corner of the assignment page or the submissions page. You can read what your students have written and add your thoughts. Optionally, use the functions in the editor to format the text.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a bulleted list.

Select the Delete icon to remove anyone's contribution. Students can delete their own contributions, but no one may make edits.


ULTRA: Create a group assignment

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about creating group assignments.

Use group assignments to teach students how to effectively work in teams. This type of assignment helps students realize that each team member can contribute something useful when tasked with solving a problem. Students demonstrate their knowledge while they learn to appreciate the perspective of others.

You create a group assignment nearly the same way you create assignments for students to complete individually. When you create a group assignment, a gradebook item is created automatically.

You can allow class conversations for a group assignment. Students can choose between a conversation with the class as a whole or only among their group members. Additionally, students can also hold virtual meetings with their group members if Collaborate Ultra is available in your course and you enable conversations for the assignment.

More on using Collaborate Ultra in your course

On the New Assignment page, select the Assignment Settings icon to open the panel and select Assign to groups.

Students are automatically grouped when you get to the Create Groups page, but you can change how groups are formed:

  • Randomly Assign: Students are randomly assigned to the number of groups you want to create. Choose how many groups to create in the Number of Groups menu. The system distributes students equally among the number of groups you create.
  • Custom: You can create as many groups as you want, with any number of students in each group. You can also create new groups or remove groups based on how many you want for this assignment. The setting changes to Custom if you move students to different groups after they are grouped automatically or with random assign.
  • Reuse working groups: Want to reuse groups from a previous assignment? Choose the assignment name to apply those groupings to the new assignment.

You can move students between groups without affecting the previous assignment's groupings. The only groups that change are those contained in the current assignment.

To name the groups, select the group title to edit.

Move students between groups

You can move a student from one group to another on the Create Groups page. Select the ellipsis icon next to a name to access these options:

  • Start a new group for this student.
  • To assign the student to a different group that already exists, select the group's name in the list.
  • Select Unassign to remove the student from the group.

You can also move multiple students to a different group or create a new group for them.

Select multiple students

To save time, you can select more than one student and change their group. You can select multiple students and move them if they're all in the same group or all unassigned.

  1. Select each student's name to select them at the same time. The selected students' names are highlighted with a purple border.
  2. Select a student's name again to remove the selection.
  3. After you select the students, select the ellipsis icon next to one of their names to access the options. You can start a new group, move them to an existing group, or remove them from a group.

Delete a group

To delete a group, select the group and then select the Delete icon. The students in that group are automatically unassigned and the Group Students setting is set to Custom.

You can manually assign these students to new groups. Or, select Randomly Assign to automatically assign students evenly among the new number of groups.


ULTRA: Watch a video about group assignments

This video explains how to create group assignments.

Video: Group assignments in the Ultra experience


ULTRA: Get your groups started

After you've created groups for the assignment, select Done to return to the assignment settings page. You can edit the assignment content and grade settings as needed, and release the assignment when you're ready.

When students access the assignment, they're notified that this is a group assignment and they can see who they're working with. If you've allowed class conversations, they can comment on their ideas or progress directly in the assignment and keep their work organized. Each group member can edit and update the draft saved in the assignment. Students can easily keep track of the latest version.

When they're ready, only one student in the group needs to submit the group's attempt.

If any students have accommodations, their group will inherit the accommodation for the group assignment.

More on student accommodations